Friday, October 17, 2008

The Photographers of Etsy Ning

Ed. Note: Many thanks to talented team member Tiffany Teske for writing this very helpful article on the POE Ning!

Our Photographers of Etsy team has several ways for group members to communicate with one another and to showcase their latest images. Poe team member Diana Brennan created our eponymously named Ning, which is a social network where team members can go to catch up with one another. The following is a blow by blow how-to for signing up and participating on our Ning.

Ning? Yes, this is a new concept to some and old hat to others. Ning means "peace" in Chinese and is also a surname. Ning was created so that people can set up social networks based on certain themes or interests, for example, paganism, a love of Britney Spears, singles in Madrid, or in our case, photography. There are currently 3,017 social networks through Ning.

In order to see the main page of our group you need to join. After you arrive at the sign up page you will create your account using an email address and a password you select. Once you are a member you can create your profile. The information you fill in here such as your name, your Etsy shop name, your favorite photographer, and your favorite quote will all appear on your member profile page. You can also upload a photo of yourself. After you complete this information you will be brought to the Ning main page, where you will see a beautiful Etsy mini, featuring the work of our talented team members. Under the POE Team logo and motto at the top of the page are the links to the different sections of our site. Beneath this is a welcome message for you, along with many icons you can click on to get started.

You can do lots of things once you are a member:

  1. Invite Friends - just fill in the field that pops up to send emails to people you know in our wider POE community, inviting them to join our social network. You can also invite current members to be friends, by clicking on "Members" under the Poe logo, then clicking on the name of the member you want to invite to be a friend. This will bring you to their profile, where you can learn more about them, and where you can click on the icon under their name and picture to add them to your friends. This will send them an invitation which they can accept or decline. Your friends show up in your profile below your name and photo.
  2. Add Photos - show us your latest works, which will be uploaded to the group photo gallery, and can be accessed, by clicking at the "Photos" icon under the Poe logo.
  3. Start a Discussion - this is where you can really communicate with other members. You can start a thread in our forum, which you can get to from the "Forum" icon or by scrolling down past the Etsy mini, to see the latest posts. You can discuss different types of photography, equipment, and more. Topics currently being discussed include a shop review and a launch of a member Web site.
  4. Add an Event - let us know if you are having a gallery show or other photography event. Just leave us the who, the why, the where, etc. As an example I just posted my current local solo show.
  5. Edit Profile - here you can, like it says, edit your profile.
The Photographers of Etsy Blog is fed onto the main page of our Ning, which is handy if you want to view news and info for both the Ning and the blog in one place. You can also send and receive messages to and from group members and create specific groups in our Ning. It's easy - in fact, I just created one for Polaroid enthusiasts.

Our Ning currently has 134 members. Count yourself in and join us today!

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